Saturday, 18 June 2011

Dead Space blu-rays

The wonder that is Lovefilm recently sent me both Dead Space blu-rays (both animated side stories) and I am not sure how I feel about either film. They weren't bad but both of them had flaws that made the experience a little odd.

The first of the blu-rays (Downfall) tells the story of how it all went tits up on the ship in the first place and does help to provide a little back story to the first game. The problem is in the anime style which is very "western" and does not feel quite up to Manga standards so gives the whole 2 hour story a slight childish feel (despite the decapitation and buckets of blood).

That said, the second blu-ray (Aftermath) is a different breed of animation entirely.

Spoiler alert follows

Should you choose to watch it I beg you to stick with it until after the first interrogation. The art direction is a good concept, in which 4 survivors of a recon ship account their overlapped stories and each story is done in a different style of anime. Unfortunately the framing device is an unusual choice... Very bright and clunky cell shading which feels very "Reboot" in appearance (showing my age with that reference). Having better exampled use of cell shading at my disposal it is a shame that this distracts so much from the story and makes it feel so VERY childish due to the brightness and saturation of colour.

If you can see the story through the choice of medium used then both blu-rays are good additions to the Dead Space story arch, but they are both definitely titles to rent only and not a purchase opportunity.

sent from iPhone

Friday, 17 June 2011

Look how far we have come in such a short time!

I took a walk down memory lane last night and played a bit of Rainbow Six Vegas last night and I was shocked. Shocked at how far the immersion and feel of almost all FPS games now feel.

From the use of shoulder buttons to aim, to the sway of cameras and jolting from gunshots a lot has changed! Even the most recent FPS whipping boys (sorry Homefront... I like you but critics are mixed) are an immersive and solid performers.

It is nice to see where things are heading too, after seeing the new PS3 footage of Battlefield 3.

sent from iPhone

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

eBay... People just don't do it right!

So... I go on about pre-owned game sales a fair bit, but to make my case clear - "I don't buy used games from retailers who pocket the profit, only direct from people on eBay."

That may seem strange to some that I detest used game sales for profit on a large scale but not on an individual basis (perhaps all that punk I listen to has something to say about that) and I can understand if you don't agree.

What I can't understand is some peoples approach to buying on eBay.

Anyone that has used eBay will know that the closing moments are the prime bidding period... So why-oh-why do people place their maximum bid days in advance? Sure you have a maximum price that you are willing to pay, but surely the point of eBay is to get things cheap?!?

I should feel bad for making people pay more than the "current" bid when I try to snap up an old game for my maximum bid in the closing seconds... But I won't and don't... If you can't be bothered to bid in the closing seconds then you deserve to pay more than the minimum!

There are plenty of other "issues" I have with sellers too, not just buyers, (fakes, miss use of "mint", regions, outrage at neutral feedback, etc) but that is another story.

sent from iPhone

Friday, 10 June 2011

E3 Uplay points?!?

I am not complaining but I am surprised to have been handed 40 Uplay points following E3. The Uplay points system is effectively a rewards based trophy system (scaled back from the reams of trophies available) which provides players with incentives for actions performed in Ubisoft titles.

Having activated my iPhone, PS3, Facebook and PC with Uplay I got 10 points a piece added for doing naff all. Thanks Ubisoft.

So long as this is just a one off/ annual reward I don't mind. If however it starts to become a regular occurrence, thereby rewarding consumers for doing nothing, I think it will be a sad day for those that understand the psychology of reward etc.

In fact, here is an excellent video by Extra Credits over at The Escapist who would most likely agree...

sent from iPhone

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Call of Duty strikes again!

My recent rant regarding new IP has been given further fuel after checking the control options for Brink. No sooner had I looked away from the mapping to the name of said choice to find it is titled "Duty Calls" and yep... The mapping matches CoD perfectly.

I know this is a minor issue, and probably more of an homage than anything but it is such a shame that one series seems to be becoming the industry benchmark for it's genre.

Now if you will excuse me I have some objectives to complete.

sent from iPhone

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Powerhouse franchises

So... This year will see the release of several follow ups to the big franchises in the games industry. We have Uncharted 3, Deus Ex, Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim and the long awaited Duke Nukem Forever.

These powerhouse brands are all at the forefront of their niches which begs the question... Are we slaves to these brands as the epitome of the genre they encompass, or is there hope for new IP?

Homefront was slated by several sources for being too short, but then... So is MW. Brink has been called a wannabe Team Fortress 2, but isn't that the basis of Battlefields multiplayer also?

I am not saying it is a bad thing to have a defining chairperson of a game at the stern of a genre, but I do think that when it is used to define whether another new IP is any good is a step too far. MW is a good game series sure, and it's placing is from a near future military view point. Homefront however is placing itself in rebel territory in an alternate far-near future. In fairness therefore it should only be compared in terms of immersion and aesthetics as all other cards are from differing decks.

I am an independent consumer with the luck to be able to afford more than one game purchase in a 6 month period without having to trade-in and fuel the flames of that industry destroying habit, but there are the unlucky few that have to base their occasional purchase on the opinions of others... And if those opinions cannot define a game within a genre without saying "it isn't as good as CoD" then shame on them.

sent from iPhone

Thursday, 2 June 2011

So what have I been up to...

It's been a while that I've blogged. Mainly as I've been playing A LOT of games that I know should have been completed a long time ago but I never got round to...

1st up... Borderlands!
Whilst technically not yet completed I have reached the final mission. I'd heard that after that anything you do with your character is classed as playthrough 2 and is a lot harder... So I've taken on the DLC missions before that happens. Dr. Ned was a fun pack, and I'm part way with General Knoxx which is fun so far. I'll either need to tread the mirky depths of online, or get a friend in order to enjoy Moxxi at it's best, before finishing up with Claptrap Revolution.

2nd - Heavy Rain
Despite knowing already about some if the more "exotic" trials in this game, I found myself gripped and wanting to get it all right and be the uber hero. The killers identity surprised me (excellent) and the ride was intense! My only gripe is with a few plot holes that never got explained. Perhaps it had been planned as DLC and been canned but I would have liked to have known what happened during Ethan's blackouts.

3rd - CoD 4: Modern Warfare
Before I start I will say that this game is good... However... The hype surrounding several key moments was something I was aware of playing, and as such I had high expectations. Unfortunately some of these were not met by the spectacle on show.
Perhaps it is my fault for having played Black Ops before the MW branch, but the "Nuke" incident could have been a lot better. Perhaps it just shows how far immersion has come since this game but I think that the inclusion of hands in that scene would have helped.
Aside from that it's a good game which I'm looking forward to completing so that I can continue the series with MW2 and MW3 this year.

That's it for now... Been pretty focused with my games. Until next time

sent from iPhone

Playstation 3 Trophies